Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
23 October 2012
Dear Secretary of State,
Planning Application 12/1847/MOUT
The Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon.
I am writing to you as Chair of the Knowle Residents’ Association. My members are directly affected by the development proposed by East Devon District Council but they are seriously concerned about the adverse effect on the well being of Sidmouth as a whole.
You will already be aware of the petition signed by over 4,000 people asking you to call in the above application for determination by yourself. You will also be aware that the application has attracted over 1,500 objections and I am not aware of any expressions of support for the proposed development.
There have been two recent developments. Firstly I would draw your attention to the half page article about East Devon District Council on page 22 of yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. This matter has now reached national significance.
Secondly, East Devon District Council, the applicants, have asked to amend their application for planning permission. In part this would seem to be a belated attempt to submit and correct some, but not all, of the documents which should have accompanied the application in the first place. However, it also appears that the site plan has been tweaked and from the point of view of the residents, appears to make the proposal even worse. The letter which has been sent to my members is badly written, unclear, and even includes words in Latin which those of us without a classical education, are unable to understand. The Council continue to reinforce the impression that this is a badly thought-out proposal which is being made up as it goes along. The residents continue to be confused and extremely angry.
Whilst we fully support your principles of localism they do not yet appear to have reached East Devon.
Please will you call in this application (including any subsequent amendments) and let common sense prevail. Such is the strength of our feelings, we would be glad if you would receive a small delegation, please, in order that we can address you in person. I look forward to hearing from you.
(Chair, Knowle Residents’ Association.)